About a year ago, I have been approached by a school mate of mine from Southville International School with a small favor. I was asked to take pictures of Nilo in famous tourist spots and world famous landmarks as I globe trot. I told him, “Sure, I’d do that but who is Nilo?”
Meet Nilo the Pillow; a brainchild of entrepreneur and fellow travel bug Jay Buen. His love and fascination for travel became a main force in putting up his own travel agency. He used to give travel pillows as giveaways to his clients and then came a light bulb moment.
On December 2011, Jay introduced Nilo Pillow to the public (derived from his real name Danilo). Nilo is a definite hit especially for those who love to travel. It is not unusual for travelers to carry pillows with them on their journey be it on land, air and sea. I see travel pillows as portable piece of comfort. Let’s face it; traveling can sometimes be a pain. THINK: Sitting inside a metal tube for hours and hours, transiting from one airport or terminal to another, not to mention the waiting time that goes with it. THINK: Long rides that passes thru bumpy roads with seats which offers little to no cushion at all. Travel pillows have now become one of the most common and important things travelers take with them to ensure a comfortable journey.
I later found out that there is more to Nilo than just being a travel pillow. Nilo is the embodiment of a grand ambition. In Jay’s own words, “This pillow is not just an ordinary one. It is a character with a purpose and with a dream.”
The purpose is for Nilo to inspire people to travel. He wanted people to share their journey thru photos, stories and videos. He wanted people to learn from each other by sharing travel tips and experiences. Jay created a Nilo Pillow page in Facebook and there you will see all the awesome destinations Nilo has been and also the different people he met on his voyages.
As for the dream, Jay envisioned Nilo to be a mascot or a character from the Philippines as there is none in the country yet. He dreamed of Nilo being a Filipino character like that of Hello Kitty of Japan. The dream may still be just a dream as of yet but Jay is getting Nilo out there and people are starting to notice. Big eyes, tongue sticking out and cloud inspired shape, people cannot help but notice this adorable character.
I love the duality that Nilo has become. Nilo is a travel pillow but he is also a traveling pillow. Gets? No? Well, basically Nilo is a travel pillow but he has become such a character that he is getting known as a travelling pillow. He has been photographed in different parts of the globe, in postcard worthy views and exotic locations just like the famous gnome of Travelocity or Matt Harding, the guy who dances around the world.
Slowly but surely with Jay Buen’s tireless effort in launching Nilo the Pillow, I could say that his dream is highly attainable. He was able to tap travel bloggers, Filipino celebrities and travelers to take Nilo as a traveling companion. Recently, he was able to strike a deal with Papemelroti, a specialty shop in the Philippines to showcase Nilo and Olin (Nilo’s pink other half) in their store.
Congratulations Jay! I wish you success and fulfillment of your dreams. Thank you for my own Nilo who keeps me company in my airport squatting as I am the ever standby passenger.
Here’s Nilo in our recent trip.
For more of Nilo visit http://www.nilopillow.com or like him on Facebook 😉